Exploratory browsing involves encountering new information during open-ended tasks. Disorientation and digression are problems that arise, as the user repeatedly loses context while clicking hyperlinks. To maintain context, exploratory browsing interfaces must present multiple web pages at once. Design of exploratory browsing interfaces must address the limits of display and human working memory. Our approach is based on expandable metadata summaries. Prior semantic web exploration tools represent documents as metadata, but often depend on semantic web formats and datasets assembled in advance. They do not support dynamically encountered information from popular web sites. Optimizing presentation of metadata summaries for particular types of documents is important as a further means for reducing the cognitive load of rapidly browsing across many documents. To address these issues, we develop a metadata type system as the basis for building exploratory browsing interfaces that maintain context. The type system leverages constructs from object-oriented programming languages. We integrate data models, extraction rules, and presentation semantics in types to operationalize type specific dynamic metadata extraction and rich presentation. Using the type system, we built the Metadata In-Context Expander (MICE) interface as a proof of concept. A study, in which students engaged in exploring prior work, showed that MICE's metadata summaries help users maintain context during exploratory browsing. Copyright 2014 ACM 978-1-4503-2725-1/14/06.
name of conference
Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems